NRLW: Fixture for the expanded competition has been confirmed

After months of delays the biggest ever NRLW fixture has been confirmed, with nine rounds, double-headers and, for the first time, matches in prime time.

The 2023 competition will include four new teams, with the Canberra Raiders, Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, North Queensland Cowboys and Wests Tigers all joining an expanded season.

The season will start on Saturday, July 22, with games at Cbus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast, CommBank Stadium and a Sharks double-header at PointsBet Stadium, with the NRLW clash to precede an NRL game.

Titans coach Karyn Murphy said it finally felt “real” as her team prepared to open the season.

“It feels real now and it’s super exciting that we’ve got four home games here at Cbus and then one up the road at The Gabba,” she said.

“There’s a lot of games for our family, friends and fans to come along and watch this year and we’ll be playing three of our games as double-headers with our NRL side.

“To play locally and get the support from everyone here on the coast will be really important and I can’t wait for the season to start in mid-July, with our first game a Queensland derby against the Cowboys.”

The grand final will be played on Sunday, October 1, before the men’s decider.

After months of negotiations and fears the competition could be delayed amid stalled pay talks, NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo said the expanded competition would offer greater opportunities for players and clubs.

“This year’s NRL Telstra Women’s Premiership will be super charged with four new teams, nine regular-season rounds, followed by semi finals and a grand final,” Abdo said.

“In 2023, there will be new rivalries and new timeslots with every match being broadcast on free-to-air TV nationally with prime-time coverage for the first time ever.

“The schedule will include a balance of stand-alone double-headers, club double-headers and stand-alone fixtures at new venues aimed at maximising the opportunity for fans to experience the premiership live or on broadcast across a range of markets.”

There will be nine stand-alone double-headers as well as 18 club double-headers with NRLW matches before NRL fixtures.

The final two rounds will feature prime-time Thursday night matches for the first time – the Sharks and the Dragons facing off in round 8, followed by Wests Tigers against 2022 premiers Newcastle Knights the following Thursday in round 9.

Every match of the season will be available for fans to watch on Fox Sports and Kayo Sports.

Originally published as Draw for expanded NRLW competition has been confirmed

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